Sherry West, the mother of the 13-month-old shot and killed in Brunswick, Ga., that set off a national outrage on senseless crimes, will testify in the De’Marquise Elkins baby murder trial as the prosecution closes out it’s case.
Elkins, 18, and his alleged accomplice in the double shooting on March 21, 2013, Dominique Lang, 15, stand trial for murder with both facing life in prison if convicted. Lang will be tried in a separate trial in Glynn County, Ga. Elkins’ mother, Karima Elkins, 36, is being tried with her son simultaneously for obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to authorities about her son’s whereabouts on the day in question and also for supposedly disposing of the murder weapon.
Elkins’ sister, Sabrina, 19, was arrested along with her brother and mother for obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence and will be tried separately. Elkins’ aunt, Katrina, was also arrested for misleading investigators.
West told the media on Thursday morning, March 21, she was walking 13-month-old Antonio Santiago home from the post office when she was confronted by two young boys who demanded money, then opened fire when she did not meet his demands.”He shot me in the ear and grazed my head… and then he shot me in the leg,” said West. “Then he walked over and shot my baby in the face. He must have died instantly.”
The case took an unexpected turn prior to the trial when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab confirmed that gun residue was found on the hands of both Sherry West and her boyfriend, Louis Santiago, who said he was at Walmart at the time of the murder of their infant son. He was jailed on charges of stalking West soon after the murder.
Also, GBI agent Brian Leppard admitted in court that he cannot tie the bullets pulled from Antonio Santiago and Sherry West to the gun that De’Marquise Elkins allegedly used in the killing and which was retrieved from a salt-water pond five days after the double shooting.
The episode was thickened and complicated by the public pronouncements of West’s daughter against her own mother after the killing.
According to ABC affiliate WLTV, West’s 21-year-old daughter, Ashley Glassey, said in March that she was hesitant to accuse her mother in the death of her brother Antonio, but she said her mother’s responses after the fatal shooting concerned her.
Glassey was alarmed that her mother asked her the night of the shooting, “How soon do you think life insurance policy will send me a check?”
Glassey has said her mother suffers from “bipolar disorder and has schizophrenic tendencies” and also has financial problems.
“She changed her story she told me the baby was shot first and then she told me she was shot first,” Glassey told the station earlier this year.
The death of infant Antonio Santiago is not Sherry West’s first loss of a child to violence. West revealed to the media that her 18-year-old son, Shaun Glassey, was killed in New Jersey in 2008. She still has a newspaper clipping from the fatal episode.
Glassey was killed with a steak knife in March 2008 during an attack involving several other teens on a dark street corner in Gloucester County, N.J., according to news reports.
“He and some other boys were going to ambush a kid,” Bernie Weisenfeld, a spokesman for the Gloucester County prosecutor’s office, told the Associated Press.
According to the spokesman, Glassey was armed with a knife, but the 17-year-old target of the attack was able to get the knife away from him “and Glassey ended up on the wrong end of the knife,” Weisenfeld said.
Prosecutors decided the 17-year-old would not be charged because they determined that he acted in self-defense.